Treats depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This medicine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to escitalopram or citalopram (Celexa®), or if you are using pimozide (Orap®). Do not use this medicine and an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®, methylene blue, or linezolid (Zyvox®) within 14 days of each other.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- You may need to take this medicine for a month or longer before you feel better. If you feel that the medicine is not working well, do not take more than your normal dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using St John's wort, buspirone (Buspar®), carbamazepine (Tegretol®), cimetidine (Tagamet®), fentanyl (Sublimaze®), lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), tramadol (Ultram®), or tryptophan supplements.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using other medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, desipramine, fluoxetine, mirtazapine, paroxetine, Celexa®, Elavil®, Norpramin®, Paxil®, Zoloft®), an NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®), medicine to treat migraine headaches (such as sumatriptan, Frova®, Maxalt®, Relpax®, Zomig®), a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®), or a diuretic (water pill, such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, Lasix®).
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
- Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, bleeding problems, heart disease, hyponatremia (low sodium levels in the blood), or a history of mania or seizures.
- For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you, especially if they are new or are getting worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
- This medicine may cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome, when taken with certain medicines. Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, confusion, mental changes, restlessness, fast heartbeat, muscle spasms, trouble walking, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
- This medicine may cause slowed growth in children. Your doctor may want to monitor the weight and height of your child while taking this medicine.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Anxiety, restlessness, fever, sweating, muscle spasms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seeing or hearing things that are not there
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
- Change in how much or how often you urinate, painful urination
- Confusion, weakness, and muscle twitching
- Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
- Feeling more excited or energetic than usual
- Trouble sleeping, racing thoughts
- Unusual behavior, thoughts of hurting yourself or others
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Dizziness, drowsiness, or sleepiness
- Mild nausea
- Problems with sex